Newcastle United 2-1 Brighton & Hove Albion: Magpies stretch unbeaten run to eight with win over struggling Seagulls
 (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Newcastle United moved seven points clear of the relegation places as they narrowly defeated Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Magpies found themselves two goals to the good after just 15 minutes with Ryan Fraser and Fabian Schar finding the net early on.

Lewis Dunk's header got The Seagulls back in the game shortly after the interval - but it was merely a consolation as Newcastle secured their first victory over Brighton since the pair got promoted from the Championship with each other in 2017.

Story of the game

It almost felt like uncharted territory for Newcastle heading into this game.

The Magpies stretched their unbeaten run in the Premier League to seven straight games – their best run for 11 years – with a dominant away victory at Brentford last Saturday.

And because of that, Manager of the Month nominee Eddie Howe named an unchanged side, despite Allan Saint-Maximin returning from injury.

It hasn't been as rosy for their opponents Brighton, with The Seagulls arriving on Tyneside after three straight defeats.

Graham Potter made four changes to the team that slumped to defeat at home to Aston Villa last weekend – notably dropping Yves Bissouma and Neal Maupay from the starting lineup.

As you'd expect, given the contrast in recent form between these two teams, Newcastle came flying out of the blocks and had the first big chance just 80 seconds into the match.

Starting from the half-way line, Joe Willock burst down the right-hand side and crossed to the back-post. It was met by a Ryan Fraser volley, but Robert Sanchez was able to hold onto the ball.

Brighton had a good spell after that early chance for the hosts, with a free-kick met by Danny Welbeck having to be averted to danger.

Despite Albion looking promising early on, it was Newcastle who were the ones to break the deadlock.

The Magpies sat deep and hit their opponents hard on the counter attack as Chris Wood controlled the ball on the half-way line before playing through Jacob Murphy.

Murphy burned Marc Cucurella for pace and chipped Sanchez, but his effort collided off the post. Ryan Fraser was on hand, however, to slot home the rebound.

Embed from Getty Images

And just two minutes later, they doubled their lead.

Fraser was at the heart of it again, as his inch-perfect delivery free-kick delivery found the head of Fabian Schar who made no mistake with his headed effort.

Embed from Getty Images

It was safe to say that Brighton were stunned, they found themselves trailing by two goals despite them starting well and their opponents being far from their glistening greatest.

They came close on a few occasions to halfing the deficit before the interval, with Danny Welbeck shot having to be excellently saved by Martin Dubravka, but nothing was going Albion's way.

That being said, the visitors were probably fortunate to not by training by three goals at half-time, with Dan Burn heading just wide against his former club before Murphy fluffed his lines after being gifted the ball by Leandro Trossard.

Albion find the net, but the Magpies hang on

Brighton started the second half with the bit between their teeth, and it only took them 10 minutes to snatch a goal back.

Captain Lewis Dunk evaded his marker from a corner and beat Dubravka to the punch, heading into and empty net from three yards out.

Embed from Getty Images

It was a cheap goal for Newcastle to give away, but it seemed that they needed to concede for them to wake up in this half.

The introduction of Saint-Maximin on the hour mark certainly did wake The Magpies up from and attacking perspective, as he picked the ball up from deep and drove at the Brighton defence, but Steven Alzate got back to stop the Frenchman in his tracks.

The Seagulls had a lot of the ball – just like they did before the interval – but they weren't creating any clear-cut chances.

It took right up until the final 10 minutes for Brighton to pose an attacking threat after pulling one back.

Dubravka was forced to make a smart save low to his right when substitute Solly March drove down the right-wing and cut the ball back to Trossard.

Saint-Maximin gave the Newcastle defence a break when he was played in by Bruno Guimaraes. He looked to skin Shane Duffy before shooting, but the Irishman got a solid block on the effort.

You could feel the tension in the stadium when Brighton were awarded a free-kick right on 94 minutes. The goalkeeper even came up, but Eddie Howe's men lashed the ball to safety, ultimately securing all three points.

This latest victory moved Newcastle seven points clear of the relegation places, with Brighton dropping all the way down to 13th as a result.

Starting XI's

Newcastle: Dubravka; Krafth, Schar, Burn, Targett; Shelvey, Willock, Joelinton; Murphy, Wood, Fraser. (4-3-3)

Brighton: Sanchez; Duffy, Dunk, Veltman; Lamptey, Gross, Alzate, Cucurella; Moder, Trossard; Welbeck. (3-4-2-1)

VAVEL Logo